Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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My 20 month old boy hit our friend's 9 month old boy with a toy in his head and hurt him. What is the best way of dealing with this situation?

More important than dealing with this situation is to know the cause of this behavior. Is this the first time this incident occurs or is it a recurring one? You need to watch your child constantly to know if this behavior is impulsive or premeditated. Did he see other kids do the same thing? Did he feel jealous or threatened by this 9 months old i.e. was all the attention given exclusively to this baby? At this age, there are so many reasons for such a behavior. You need to figure out the cause that has  triggered  this behavior. In any case it is very important at that age to make him understand that this behavior is unacceptable. Some suggestions to help you control his behavior in situation like this are:
  1. Tell him that what he did was  wrong.

  2. Make him apologize to the baby (even if the baby doesn't understand).

  3. Give him some time out where he would just sit down and do nothing, at that age maybe three to five minutes would be adequate.
Pray that this would be a one time incident and not a behavioral problem.
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